2016 Ferrari 488 GTB By Alpha-N Performance
The Ferrari 488 GTB made its debut at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, becoming only the second Ferrari after the California T to come with a twin-turbo, V-8 engine since the iconic F40 back in 1992. The twin-turbo V-8 on these new Ferraris may have upset some devoted tifosi, but one group that’s excited to see turbocharged engines on Ferraris are engine tuners — largely due to how these engines are easier to modify than their naturally aspirated counterparts. No one knows this more than Alpha-N Performance, the German tuner known for creating impressive performance kit for some of Germany and Italy’s finest sports cars.
Alpha N-Performance’s program for the new 488 GTB is less about style and more about power, power, and power. Did I say ‘power’ one too many times? The improved engine numbers on the 488 GTB are incredibly impressive, even though the absence of any exterior and interior upgrades leaves me wanting a little more.
I’m not going to sweat it as much as I probably should, though. Even without any aerodynamic enhancements and interior refinements, I still love how the 488 GTB is presented. It’s the kind of car that really doesn’t need any cosmetic modifications to stand out. Fortunately, Alpha-N Performance’s engine upgrade more than makes up for whatever perceived shortcomings the kit may have.
I’m willing to bet that whoever gets this program will enjoy what Alpha-N Performance has in store for the newest Ferrari on the block.
Continue reading to learn more about the Ferrari 488 GTB By Alpha-N Performance.
2016 Ferrari 488 GTB By Alpha-N Performance
Horsepower @ RPM:790
0-60 time:3 sec.
Top Speed:210 mph (Est.)
For now, don’t even bother trying to look for any aesthetic or aerodynamic programs on Alpha-N Performance’s tuning program for the 488 GTB. The Italian supercar’s exterior was left untouched for now. That’s not to say that Alpha-N isn’t going to build one soon — we know it’s more than capable of producing impressive aero kits like the one it developed for the BMW M2. But, as far as the 488 GTB program is concerned, it still looks like the standard 488 GTB.
Just like the exterior, the Italian supercar’s interior retains its standard configuration. Alpha-N Performance is likely to come up with a handful of future upgrades here and there, so that’s something owners of the 488 GTB can all look forward to. In the meantime, keep that cabin looking clean and fresh like Ferrari expects you to.
The real feature of Alpha-N Performance’s program for the Ferrari 488 GTB can be found on the engine of the Italian supercar. The German tuner turned to its own EVOX performance ECU upgrade to drive the 488’s output from the standard 670 horsepower and 561 pound-feet of torque to an impressive 790 horsepower and 635 pound-feet of torque. That represents an increase of 120 horsepower and 74 pound-feet of torque from the 488’s standard numbers.
Unfortunately, Alpha-N Performance didn’t disclose the performance figures brought about by the massive increase in engine performance. Considering that the standard 488 GTB can sprint from 0 to 62 mph in three seconds and hit a top speed of 205 mph, the addition of the EVOX performance ECU upgrade on the 3.8-liter, turbocharged, eight-banger could drop its 0-to-62-mph time to about 2.8 seconds to go with an improved top speed of around 211 mph.
Alpha-N’s EVOX performance ECU upgrades for the Ferrari 488 GTB is already available at a price of €2,999. That’s about $3,220 based on current exchange rates. Customers who avail of the Plug & Play additional ECU kit can have the it installed at Alpha-N Performance’s shop in Germany or if they know what they’re doing, detailed installation instructions allow the modifications to be done at home.
Since there’s still a limited number of tuning kits for the Ferrari 488 GTB, I’m veering away from comparing tuning kits made for the same car and focus more on kits that have been developed for two of the 488 GTB’s fiercest rivals.
First up is Fab Design’s VAYU RPR program for the McLaren 650S Spyder. Ok, I have a couple of disclaimers. First, it’s actually a more fitting competitor to the Ferrari 488 Spyder, and second, it’s the opposite of Alpha-N Performance’s program for the 488 GTB.
That said, Fab Design’s VAYU RPR accomplishes its goal of dressing up the 650S Spyder with an array of bespoke aerodynamic components. The result certainly speaks for itself as the drop-top version of the 650S is turned upside its head and given a more aggressive and extreme look. Everything about the kit makes the car look larger and more menacing. The front and rear fenders are wider, the air intakes are larger, and that rear diffuser is a sight for bulging eyes.
Unfortunately, the engine upgrade isn’t as staggering as Alpha-N Performance’s work on the 488 GTB. Instead of remapping the 650S Spyder’s 3.8-liter, twin-turbo V-8, Fab Design opted to more horsepower from a custom exhaust system. The result is an extra 32 ponies on the McLaren, bringing its output up to 672 horsepower. That’s a far cry from the 790 horses Alpha N was able to extract out of the 488 GTB’s own twin-turbo V-8, but thanks to the massive aero kit on the McLaren, it can still do 0 to 60 mph in under three seconds and hit a comparable top speed of around 210 mph.
Read our full review in here.
Tuners have had more luck getting their hands on the Lamborghini Huracan, maybe because it was the earliest one to arrive compared to the Ferrari 488 GTB and the McLaren 650S. One tuner that has done work on the Huracan is Wheelsandmore, considered as one of the most highly regarded aftermarket shops for supercars and luxury cars in Europe.
The German tuner is known for its tendency to let loose with its performance modifications. In the case of the Huracan, Wheelsandmore prepared not one, not two, but three power upgrades. The first stage only brings the output up to 640 horsepower, thanks largely to the additions of a carbon-frame air filter and a hand-made, stainless steel exhaust system. The second stage kit adds more power to the tune of 777 ponies, courtesy of a compressor kit with a reinforced clutch and a differential lock. Then there’s the third stage kit, which adds an ECU remap to the equation, bringing the output up to a ridiculous 850 horsepower, putting its numbers above Alpha-N Performance’s own ECU remap on the 488 GTB.
In addition to this comprehensive engine upgrade, Wheelsandmore also has a variety of 20- and 21-inch, race-inspired FIWE wheels on offer.
Read our full review in here.
I’m a little on the fence about Alpha-N Performance’s kit for the Ferrari 488 GTB. On the one hand, I can’t deny how impressive the engine tuning is. I mean, 790 horsepower on a 488 GTB is no joke. That’s more than what the Ferrari FF and F12berlinetta, the two Ferraris slotted above the 488 GTB, have at their respective disposals.
On the other hand, I can’t get past the fact that Alpha-N Performance only concentrated on the engine with this program. I understand that being one of the first to market is a big deal, but the absence of an aerodynamic kit and interior modifications kind of makes me feel like this kit is somewhat incomplete. I do think that these programs will be offered in the future; I just don’t know when that will be.
Hopefully, it arrives soon for Alpha-N Performance. Otherwise, it being one of the first to offer an engine upgrade wouldn’t mean as much if other tuning firms begin offering more comprehensive kits for the 488 GTB.